Celebrating our educators and students

This week we celebrate teachers across the country during Teacher Appreciation Week. Educate Nevada Now would like to thank all Nevada teachers who go the distance for their students and who have dedicated their careers to developing our future generations.


These past few days we have had the pleasure in celebrating the accomplishments of our students and teachers at various events. Below are a few highlights:


Heart of Education Awards


On Saturday, April 28 close to 800 of our public school teachers and their guests were treated to a night of music, dance, cocktails and praise during the 2nd Annual Heart of Education Awards held at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and powered by The Rogers Foundation.


The event recognizes community educators who have made exceptional efforts on behalf of their students and significantly contributed to their education and overall lives. Among the 800 finalists, 20 winners were highlighted for their exceptional commitment to students while four were awarded with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s People’s Choice Awards.


At the event we met Whitney Elementary teacher, Kimberly Butterfield who created a three-day Thanksgiving camp at her school to ensure students have a safe place to go and where they also have access to food during the week off of school. We learned about Linda Wise from Rex Bell who wrote grants to create listening centers at her school and to build a school garden. These are two among the countless stories of amazing, giving teachers who make a life-long impact for our students.



Alexandra Matthews, Barbara and Hank Greenspun Junior High School

Damon Wahl, Kay Carl Elementary School

Deborah Fleischer, Jack Lund Schofield Middle School

Demitrio Frausto, William E. Ferron Elementary School

Diane Koutsulis, Green Valley High School

Erick Ekker, Bob Miller Middle School

Hela Naziri, Cheyenne High School

Jeffrey Hinton, Advanced Technologies Academy

Kathryn Faulkner, Myrtle Tate Elementary School

Kelly Kirkbride, Elaine Wynn Elementary School

Kimberly Murray, R.E. Tobler Elementary School

Kimberly Butterfield, Whitney Elementary School

Linda Marie Wise, Rex Bell Elementary School

Perryn Hale, Roy W. Martin Middle School

Renee Ara, Robert Lunt Elementary School

Ruben Perta, Early Childhood Department

Ryan Duff, Basic Academy of International Studies

Saleutogi Lualemaga, Jerome D. Mack Middle School

Sergio Lopez III, Chaparral High School

Shannon Sheldon, Southwest Career and Technical Academy


LVRJ People’s Choice Winners

Albert L. Ocampo, Southwest Career and Technical Academy

Bonnie Lamping, Shirley and Bill Wallin Elementary School

Jeffrey C. Archibald, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts

Kristan N. Nigro, Halle Hewetson Elementary School


Rogers Foundation Scholarships


The same morning, the Rogers Foundation awarded more than $2.1 million in scholarships to 28 local seniors during an event at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. Congratulations to the amazing students who will go on to represent Nevada in college and universities across the country and continue to make us proud!


Magnet School Accolades

Nevada once again proved it has among the best schools in the nation.

Walter Bracken STEAM Academy received the Dr. Ronald P. Simpson School of Excellence Award, the most prestigious award for a Magnet School in the nation, given to one school annually.


Thurman White Academy of the Performing Arts received the New and Emerging Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence honor, recognizing the school nationally for its leadership and commitment to Magnet Schools.


Additionally, 23 other schools were recognized at the annual conference.


We urge the Legislature to continue to invest in Nevada’s award-winning magnet programs, to lift us out of #50 ranking and develop our future work force.


Wildcreek Project


The Washoe County School District (WCSD), Washoe County, and the cities of Reno and Sparks announced a regional effort to improve schools and public spaces through the regional “Wildcreek Project.” The announcement included a new high school at Wildcreek which will help alleviate overcrowding at schools in Reno and Sparks, while also adding community resources to part of the land where Wildcreek Golf Course is currently located. At the same time, Procter Hug High School will be repurposed as a career/tech academy, drawing students from all over the District to take advantage of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) in skilled careers and trades. More schools and more choice for northern Nevada students.


We extend our sincere gratitude to our amazing students and teachers doing great things! These are the kinds of students and projects all Nevadans should continue to  support through more programs and more investments in our public education. We have the chance now during the 2017 legislative session and we have faith that our legislators will demonstrate their commitment to supporting public education in the next coming weeks.
As we continue to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, don’t forget to thank a teacher – their job is not an easy one but it’s one of the most important professions that exists.  Our most heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you!